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2018 Nobel Peace Prize Recognizes Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

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The Nobel Peace Prize is a prestigious international award that recognizes accomplished members of our society that have worked “for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Past winners include Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Nelson Mandela. This year, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nadia Murad of Germany, an Iraqi refugee, both for their outstanding efforts in the fight against sexual assault as a war crime. The award this year highlights victims of rape and sexual violence as a result of military conflict who don’t have the opportunity to share their story.

Photo courtesy oslofreedomforum.com
Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner for treating victims of sexual violence and rape.

Denis Mukwege is a gynecologist that specializes in the treatment of women who have suffered from sexual violence and rape amidst the Congo’s long-lasting internal conflict. The majority of these women are not able to afford post-rape medical care and are given treatment free of charge at the Panzi Hospital and Foundation in the Congo which he founded in 1999. Since the year of the hospital’s opening, Dr. Mukwege has been able to help over 50,000 victims of sexual violence. After working in his field for several years helping victims, he was attacked in his home in 2012 in an assassination attempt. Denis Mukwege’s story puts into light the difficulty, hard work, and personal sacrifice it takes to have an immense impact on society.

Photo courtesy independent.co.uk
Nadia Murad, human rights activist who speaks about her own experiences as a sex slave in ISIS territory.

Also receiving this year’s award is Nadia Murad who is herself a victim of war crimes. She was abducted from her home town of Kojo, Iraq in 2014 and held a sex slave by the Islamic State in Mosul in an effort to rid Iraq of all Yazidi muslims. She managed to escape the hands of her captors after a traumatic three-months and, despite social codes that prevent women from sharing their story, has spoken openly about her terrible experience and on behalf of around three thousand women and children who have fallen victim to the Islamic State army. Murad has just become the 17th woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize and, at the age of 26, is its second-youngest recipient after Malala Yousafzai.

Just like many amazing Nobel Prize winners before them, Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad are heroes. Both have selflessly put their personal security at risk by supporting victims of unthinkable abuse and courageously continuing to support and seek justice for women victims of war crimes. Both of them and the work they do serve as shining examples of the greatness in humanity.

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2018 Nobel Peace Prize Recognizes Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad